I don’t know about you, but I will admit that I am a closet reality tv junkie. I am not sure what it is about these shows…maybe watching other people make terrible decisions makes me feel better about myself? Or maybe I have some secret voyeuristic part of me? Whatever the reason, I have been addicted to reality tv since its dawn, back when shows like The Real World and Temptation Island were popular. If we are talking reality tv, we can’t ignore one of the most popular and longest airing shows of all time, which would be the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise which is now running its 32nd season. For any of you who have seen it, the premise is: an extremely good looking, white heterosexual who is “looking for love” gets to choose among over 20 singles to take out on extravagant dates in hopes that they will “find true love”. Does the process work? Well, that’s a topic for a very different blog. The show, however, is certainly reaching its goal and beyond, as it is one of the highest grossing reality television shows of all time. In layman’s terms: people like watching sexy singles fail and/or succeed at finding love. I myself have watched many seasons, even though I could never be a contestant. I happen to be married, but if I were single I would not be able to be on this show because, well to state the obvious, I am a gay woman. The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise has never and probably will never have a season with gay contestants. The show continues to display a very specific demographic and the LGBT community is certainly not a part of it.
We did have a few sorry attempts at shows like this, but even those shows featured the heterosexual community. One was called Boy Meets Boy. It aired for only one season in 2003 and the premise was that of the 15 potential suitors for the lead (gay) bachelor, some were straight and some were gay. I have no idea what the producers of this show were thinking. It was almost as if the show was less of a dating show and more of a “how good is your Gaydar” experiment. In the end, the lead ends up choosing the most obviously gay male because he was afraid of falling in love with a straight man. Obviously, this show was a crap shoot and ended up being purely crap, in my opinion. There was another show that premiered (again for only one season) called Playing It Straight and it featured a heterosexual bachelorette who was looking for love but was given a group of men who were both gay and straight. Well that must have been great for her! “Here! You get your own show in which you may find your future husband. He may also be searching for a husband, but if you are good at figuring out what gay looks like, you may just come out a winner,”. What were these people thinking? They obviously weren’t thinking very well because neither show was renewed and we haven’t seen a show with a similar theme in over a decade.
So why isn’t there a gay, dating themed reality show? Why have the only ones that have been attempted involve men having to fake their sexuality? Is it because the networks don’t think the public would tune in? Do the networks think people couldn’t relate to a gay dating show? I watch Deadliest Catch and I am no crab fisherman. I actually find it interesting because its not something that I am schooled in. I would think that a gay dating show would be interesting to those open minded enough to watch it. It would give people a look into what same sex dating is like and ultimately how it is no different than heterosexual dating. I think people are ready for a gay themed dating show. I think people would tune in to it (whether or not they would admit it). Its not like a lesbian dating show needs to take place at a hardware store and a gay male one on Fire Island. What exactly would be so unappealing about a group of attractive men (or women) seeking love, who happen to be attracted to each other? Think of the possibilities! I think a show such as this would be revolutionary and amazingly popular, if done correctly. With shows like Married At First Site, Dating Naked and 90 Day Fiance, (I’m not joking here..these all exist and have multiple seasons), maybe some network should attempt to have a show where a community who has fought for love for so long has a chance to find it (as we all watch from the sidelines of course). This is all just my opinion of course, but I believe many people would agree with me. With that said, I need to go set my DVR because Return to Amish is taping. Can’t miss that one! Ugh.